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Trump is Now a Bystander

Here is a very insightful article by Peter Wehner in The Atlantic, titled:

The Trump Presidency is Over

It shows how the nation has started discounting the federal leadership and taken matters into its own hands. Seeing Trump speak now, every time, I can read it in his eyes. He knows it. Everyone does.

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Trump looked sick. Not well. Nervous. He did not sound like a leader we should trust and follow.

Announcing cessation of trade with Europe was a mistake. He didn’t mean that.

Exempting the U.K. from the travel restriction with Europe makes no sense. There are more cases of infection in the U.K. than in many EU nations.

With more than 7,000 infections in the U.S., a travel restriction with Europe makes no more sense. Europe is not our problem. It is now our own infrastructure.

While deaths are still low, if they increase like in Iran, Italy and South Korea, they will overwhelm our hospital capacity. Trump didn’t even talk about that. A huge omission.

Trump didn’t talk about social distancing. A huge omission.

Trump didn’t talk about tests and testing capacity. This is now more important than anything.

This morning, the DOW is down another 2000 points since yesterday. It’s getting close to the level it was when Trump first took office. Obviously, the market didn’t believe Trump last night and he didn’t invoke the world’s confidence.

Trump’s juvenile tweets and schoolyard name calling tactics may work against political opponents, but a pandemic could not care less. It moves forward based on scientific reality, not wishful presidential thinking and propaganda.

Trump’s address was a lost opportunity and therefore an epic fail.

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Check out how Trump interrupts Azar and puts in his own comments. I really wonder what the people standing with him there are really thinking.

Our president has a natural ability for medicine, as we hear in the second video.

All of us should feel very comfortable now about our government’s ability to handle a potential pandemic crisis, since, as we just heard the president say: “The tests are beautiful.”

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Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak, and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all His laws. 
—John Quincy Adams
This book was presumably written by a senior Trump administration official, like a cabinet-level appointee, or somebody in a similar situation. The account is not favorable to Trump.

The book tells what it’s like to work inside the White House under Trump as a senior advisor or executive. Trump is shown as a completely unfit person for the presidency. He does not read, he has no interest in opinions other than those of himself, he seeks power and status for himself without regard to what is right for the country or its people. He uses his assistants until they somehow disagree with him, and then they become enemies. All his assistants start disagreeing with him within minutes of any direct interaction. It does not paint a good picture.

It is A Warning – and I mean it.

Trump promised during the campaign that he would eliminate the national debt within 8 years in office. He has done the opposite. The deficit is higher than ever in history, spending is out of control, higher than Obama’s and that  was one of the main points the conservatives had against Obama. Here is an excerpt that discusses spending:

Donald Trump was not interested in penny-pinching. He may try to project the image of a man working to save taxpayer dollars, and it’s true that he can be talked out of stupid ideas if they cost too much. But that’s not because he’s trying to save money so it can go back to the American people. He still wants to spend the money, just on things in which he’s personally interested, such as bombs or border security. Trump recoils at people who are “cheap.” Today he is sparing no expense on the management of the executive branch, spending so freely it makes the money-burning days of the Trump Organization look like the five-dollar tables at a Vegas casino. As a result, the budget deficit has increased every single year since Donald Trump took office, returning to dangerous levels. The president is on track to spend a trillion dollars above what the government takes in annually.

— Anonymous. A Warning (p. 100). Grand Central Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Here is another excerpt talking about spending and the budget.

Donald Trump has America back on the road to bankruptcy, an area where he has unparalleled expertise for a president of the United States. The small band of fiscal conservatives who remain in the Trump administration warned the president about the eventual dangers of his out-of-control spending addiction. In one such meeting, Trump reportedly said, “Yeah, but I won’t be here.” I never heard him say those words, but it doesn’t come as a surprise. That’s how he thinks. What does he care if the federal government goes belly-up? By then it won’t be his problem.
–Anonymous. A Warning (p. 101). Grand Central Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Trump called the writer a traitor. Trump defenders called him a coward.

Both labels are not fair. Let’s just say the facts stated are true. Clearly, the two excerpts above do not tell us anything we don’t already know. The numbers don’t lie. Trump may not like the fact that someone inside his administration states these facts to the public, but treasonous it is not.

It’s simply the truth, simply facts.

There is obviously no way for a cabinet secretary to write such a book under his or her name and live another hour in the administration, and then not be crucified and smeared for life by Trump supporters in the public and the media. So in order to get this book out, it needed to be written anonymously. Usually I do not like it when writers post anonymous comments in my blog, or anywhere online, but I am making an exception in this case. This book contains valuable information that will help me make my decision when it comes time to vote.

And just because of this, I am going to quote a section at the end of the book that is the most important of the entire message, the Warning. Please read this carefully. If you do not end up  reading the book after this review, at least read this excerpt:

Nevertheless, the counterargument to my point will be strong if the Democratic Party nominates someone deeply out of touch with mainstream America. Then everything changes. If it’s one of the Democratic candidates preaching “socialism,” Trump’s fearmongering will still be persuasive. Republicans will argue that the other candidate, as president, would attack our free-market principles, tax us into economic recession, promote a thought-police culture of political correctness, fan the flames of identity politics, and bring government into our lives like never before. It will be a repeat of 2016. Compared to the leftward-lurching Democratic Party, Trump will seem friendlier to conservative ideals. Discussions about qualifications will give way to emotion and fear, and Trump’s reelection chances will rise.
Democrats reading this book know how high the stakes are. I implore you, if you want a majority of our nation to reject Donald Trump, you must show wisdom and restraint in selecting your party’s nominee. Resist the temptation to swerve away from the mainstream. Trust me. We flirted with extremes in the GOP during the last cycle, and look where it got us. If Democrats do the same, Trump will be that much closer to a second term and better equipped to convince Americans to stick with him. If, however, you nominate someone who campaigns on unity instead of ideological purity, you will have a sizable number of Republicans and independents ready to make common cause.
— Anonymous. A Warning (p. 246). Grand Central Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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Sein Kampf

The German magazine Stern put Trump on the cover with the headline:

Sein Kampf – Neonazis, Ku-Klux-Klan, Rassismus: Wie Donald Trump den Hass in Amerika schürt.

His Struggle – Neonazis, Ku-Klux-Klan, Racism: How Donald Trump stokes hate in America.

Of course, the “Sein Kampf” is a pun on Hitler’s popular book “Mein Kampf.”

The word “Kampf” will mostly be translated into “struggle” in English. But that is not quite the right nuance. “My Struggle” as an English title to a book does not have the same implications as Mein Kampf has in German. Mein Kampf would better be translated as:

The relentless mission and quest of my life.

There you have the meaning. Now you can understand the implications of Stern Magazine’s “Sein Kampf.”

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I was in disbelief. I googled and fact-checked. This really happened.

When Trump was passed over for Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year in favor of Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish student who has risen to international fame for her powerful climate activism, his campaign eventually edited Trump’s head on Greta’s body on a fake cover of Time Magazine, framed in a Trump campaign text message.

I have two questions:

  1. What adult can possibly be jealous of a 16-year-old girl reaching the pinnacle of the media world by promoting a powerful message of world-impact?
  2. What President of the United States would possibly feel good about actually attacking a 16-year-old activist on social media because he was jealous of her?

Why doesn’t Trump invite the girl to the White House, congratulate her on her success, get to know her, and ask her questions about how he could help her with her mission? That is what any president in the history of our country would have done.

Until Trump.

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Completely Exonerated?

I just don’t get this part:

If the Mueller report completely exonerates Trump, if it proves there was no collusion, if it shows that we treated the president unfairly, if it allows the “country to move forward again,” then why isn’t Trump making sure that every one of us gets a copy of it as soon as possible?

Hand out the reports, so we can read it for ourselves!

Trump is free and clear, and we can all be sure that the country is safe and protected by our beloved leader.

But it seems like everyone, including the GOP enablers in congress, are fighting to keep it secret.

Why?

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You can judge the character of a person by what the person spends his or her money on.

You can judge the character of a nation the same way.

Our military budget is larger than that of the next 10 nations COMBINED.

The U.S. military is planning on buying a total 2,443 F-35 jets. Since the pricing of each jet is not clear, because they are sold in “batches” where the costs of development are sometimes wrapped into the planes, I find it difficult to figure out how much individual planes actually cost. I have come up with up to $200 million each, but on the low end around $100 million each (source).

Let’s say we’re on the low end at $100 million for each plane.

Trump and DeVos just suggested we cut the entire budget of the Special Olympics – about $17 million a year. We know Trump caved after the public outrage that announcement created. Two billionaires, two kleptocrats, trying to take the Special Olympics out of the government’s budget – in our name!

Let me suggest the following:

I don’t think we need 2,443 F-35 jets. I think 2,442 will do just fine. And we’ll take the $100 million we saved and fund the Special Olympics for about six years straight.

We can live with one less F-35, right?

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If Hillary got it, you’d be doing wind. Windmills. Weeeee. And if it doesn’t blow, you can forget about the television for that night. ‘Darling, I want to watch television.’ ‘I’m sorry! The wind isn’t blowing.’ I know a lot about wind.

— The President of the United States

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The Ghosts of Donald Trump

The ghosts of Donald Trump have haunted us through the decades.

Stephen King is an ardent Trump critic. Here is a representative tweet:

There are many Stephen King tweets about Trump, and most of them are not kind.

I just happen to read King’s Bag of Bones now, which was published in 1998 and plays in that time. In it, one of the primary antagonists is a tech billionaire who abuses people with his money. Here is an excerpt I came across:

“I’m a lucky girl, don’t you think? First I marry the son of an extremely rich man, and after he dies, I fall under the protective wing of another rich guy. Next I’ll probably move in with Donald Trump.”

— King, Stephen. Bag of Bones: A Novel (p. 190). Scribner. Kindle Edition.

That reference made me check the copyright date of the book, and sure enough, it was 1998. Trump was around then, and notorious enough to make it into a Stephen King novel.

There is a new chain of Pieology restaurants. They are pizza places where you can customize your individual pizza. While patrons stand in line, they can peruse a large wall of famous quotes. The picture below is of this wall at the Escondido location. I took it before Trump ran for president.

You can see, among many others, there is a quote attributed to Donald Trump:

As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.

While this is attributed to Trump, I am pretty sure it was used by many motivational speakers long before Trump, but we now know that Trump likes to “own” things and thoughts that aren’t really his.

Here is the funny thing: When we recently went back to Pieology, this quote by Trump was nowhere to be found. They had placed a sticker with another quote over it, so Trump is not on the board now. I am assuming that this was done in all Pieology stores, not just the one in my home town.

Recently, when searching through old boxes of books, we found this one:

It’s copyright 2007. It’s a hardcover book, brand new, never read, and I cannot remember buying it. I would not pay $26.95, the posted price, for this book, not now, not in 2007. How it got into my book boxes, without me even knowing it was there, is baffling.

Finally, I just noticed this shoe box in our closet:

I am sure The Woman bought these Ivanka Trump shoes many years ago. She would not do so now. But still, the box is in our closet.

I have to say: Trump’s ghosts are permeating our lives in America. He is a relentless self-promoter, in my opinion the most successful real estate salesman in history, regardless of the fact that his company sure looks like an organized crime syndicate that has now muscled itself into the White House.

We are numb to the ghosts of Donald Trump, which haunt us now, and will haunt us for decades to come. My grandchildren will suffer from some of the effects of Trump in the White House today.

I think we need an exorcism.

 

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My Thoughts on Loser Teachers

Keep up that fight. Bring it to your schools. You don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth.

— Donald Trump Jr. at rally in El Paso, Texas

The oligarchy we are now living in and allowing to continue every day is making more and more decent Americans sick. I know a lot of teachers, and they are some of the most hardworking people I know. They are dedicated, and they are not getting paid nearly enough to account for the value they provide to our children and to us.

But to oligarchs, anyone that does not get rich by money-laundering, tax evasion schemes, stiffing contractors, hiring illegal workers to keep wages low, anyone struggling to get by day to day, paycheck to paycheck, apparently looks like a loser.

And this is what we are supporting and allowing to continue, day after day.

An oligarchy.

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The president is now trying to use a chant to present to the American people a complex problem that no one has been able to properly address let alone solve in decades. Chants like this are useful for second-graders as mnemonic devices, or for indoctrination, but they do not work for me.

The president looks foolish and puerile to me when he spouts such drivel.

I am an immigrant. Not a third-generation immigrant like Trump himself, but a direct immigrant, like two of his wives and his in-laws. I have voiced my views about immigration many times in these pages.

Ponderings on the Trump Wall

Trump and his Scare Tactics about the Migrant Caravan

Immigrants are not Bad – Like Trump would have us Believe

Trump’s Police State – the Beginning

Book Review – Spare Parts – by Joshua Davis

Immigrant Statistics

Immigrants Who Created Jobs – and Tucker Carlson

Is there something wrong with our immigration system? Of course, I agree, and I don’t think I know anyone who does not agree. Trump proclaiming that “Democrats want open borders” is a foolish soundbite that does not reflect reality. Nobody wants open borders. Everyone agrees that to have a nation you need borders.

The United States, compared to many or most other countries, is in a unique position in that it only has two neighbor nations. This position has contributed to the country’s rise over the last century. It’s difficult to invade or attack a nation in such a geographic location.

We have immigration laws that are not being enforced properly, and when being enforced, result in public outcry, like family separation policies. We have immigration laws that prevent legal immigration for jobs where we need the help, like in agriculture, service jobs, etc. Immigration reform is a huge challenge and needs to take place. The problem is that it hasn’t been addressed, and no administration or Congress has found it possible to pull it off.

Trump is trying to reduce it to a soundbite. And while a border wall may well be necessary and helpful in some places, or all places along the southern border, it’s not going to get public support by spouting soundbites, particularly when those soundbites are based on incorrect facts.

Many of us don’t believe that “the wall” Trump wants would actually work and bring down crime. I don’t believe that immigrants are our main source of crime. I actually think Trump is vilifying immigrants as a political pawn game. He knows that sowing fear works, as proven by dictatorships throughout history. Scare the people enough, and they’ll let you do anything!

If Trump really wanted a wall, he should stimulate an active dialog. He should have the problem studied properly and he should educate the public with the facts. If the facts showed that a wall would solve the immigration problem and bring down crime, 90% of us would support it. There is no question in my mind about that.

Trump, if he were to stimulate a productive debate about the immigration problem, and came up with an immigration bill that would solve that problem, he would have the support of every Democrat and Republican in Congress. If he did that in his remaining two years, he would truly by viewed as a successful president.

Show a Will – Craft a Bill!

 

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Witch Hunt? Not!

 

Witch Hunt:  : the searching out and deliberate harassment of those (such as political opponents) with unpopular views

Trump keeps calling the investigation a witch hunt. Yet, many of his senior aides during and after his campaign are now either indicted, or serving prison time, or are scheduled to serve prison time, or have already served prison time.

Most of the felony charges came after confessions, not convictions in trials. Most of the charges are not about the crimes themselves, but about lying about them.

Why are all these people around Trump lying about their contacts with Russia? If Russia is so benign, why are they lying and willing to go to prison – for Trump?

Witch hunt?

Not!

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Trump’s tantrums and his playing reality TV with the nation’s economy so he can get $5 billion to build a border wall (which he said Mexico was going to pay for) had me do just a bit of research.

I have always thought that walls don’t work. People tunnel under walls, and they fly over them. As a matter of fact, the majority of undocumented aliens in the United States arrived here by plane, came in through an airport, got their passport stamped, and then overstayed their visa.

Hordes at the border trying to cross are images made up by the Trump administration to scare us. Making immigrants out to be murderers and rapists are scare tactics. Immigrants in general are more productive and contribute more to society and the economy than native-born Americans.

Trump trying to state that “Democrats want open borders” is simply silly. Nobody wants open borders. Border laws must be enforced. Nobody will disagree with you on that. But spending $5 billion on a wall would take years, would be a waste of money, and would not make a difference in the end. So why do it?

Trump is also telling us that immigrants flooding into the United States is a problem for us, and that this is now worse than ever. That, too, is simply not true.

In fact, our undocumented population has dropped during the Obama years and has continued to drop between 2014 and 2018, beyond the chart above.

The methods that are in place are working and have been working. Trump is not doing any miracles. He is simply playing reality TV games with us and making us froth at the mouth, turning us against each other.

Here is a study on illegal immigration which provides some valuable facts:

US Undocumented Population Drops Below 11 Million in 2014, with Continued Declines in the Mexican Undocumented Population

It took me no more than 20 minutes of casual research to counter most of Trump’s “facts” about the terrible immigration problem we’re having in the south. Does he ever google some of these issues himself? Does he have staff that provides the facts to him if he can’t google? Does anybody advise the man?

The Congress should deny spending a single dollar on a border wall that makes no sense, has no purpose, and does not fix a problem we actually don’t have.

If the president is willing to cripple our economy over this, it’s his own doing and everyone knows it.

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